Preview | Preston North End v Swansea City
Swansea City will look to end a hectic few weeks with a positive result to take into the international break when they face Preston North End this afternoon.
Despite it being just 27 days since Russell Martin was appointed head coach, this will already be his seventh game in charge of the Swans.
He will be looking to build on wins over Bristol City and Plymouth Argyle ahead of a period that will provide some respite, and some time for extended work with his charges on the training pitch having been thrust straight into the thick of Championship action at Blackburn three weeks ago.
They face a Preston side who have had a challenging start to the campaign, but ended a run of three defeats by beating Peterborough last weekend.
They also advanced to the third round of the League Cup with a win at Morecambe in midweek and will be keen to build on that.
Jamie Paterson and Matt Grimes return to the Swans squad after being rested for the midweek Carabao Cup clash with Plymouth.
Ryan Bennett and Kyle Naughton made their returns after illness against the Pilgrims, but Korey Smith, Liam Walsh, Flynn Downes, Ben Cabango and Connor Roberts remain sidelined.
The hosts, meanwhile, have Alan Browne back after he missed their games against Peterborough and Morecambe.
Russell Martin: “I think they have had a slow-ish start, but that win last Saturday will definitely pick them up.
“We will try and go there, we will look at a couple of things that will help us move forward, impose our own game, dictate the game as much as we can.
“It’s a good place to play, there will be a good atmosphere after them picking up a win and we want to try and get a positive result before the international result to back up the win at Bristol City and the win on Tuesday.
“I know Frankie very, very well. I worked with him for a couple of years at Norwich when he was Alex Neil’s assistant.
“He is one of the nicest gentlemen you will ever meet in the game, there is no doubt about it, and I have a lot of respect for him, and a lot of time for him.”
Frank McAvoy: “I don’t think there were any questions or doubt about that [him becoming coach]. He was our captain when Alex and myself were there and he did really, really well for us.
“He picked up the play-off final trophy, played in the Premier League, and he was a real leader within the dressing room.
“He always liked to get on the ball, always liked to play from the back, and he was a legend at Norwich. He was fantastic for us.
“He did really well at MK Dons as his first job and he’s gone in to Swansea, who are a big club, and you can see that he’s starting to put his own stamp on it where they’re looking to try and get on the ball, dominate the ball and looking to play and progress through the thirds.
“It’ll be a formidable game on Saturday because they’re decent when they’ve got the ball so I’m really looking forward to it and looking forward to seeing Russell again.”
Remember the last time?
Morgan Gibbs-White marked his league debut for Swansea City with the winner as they kicked off the new Championship campaign with victory at Preston.
The on-loan Wolves midfielder was on hand to turn in Jake Bidwell’s cross eight minutes into the second half, and give the visitors all three points; as well as a first win at Deepdale since 2008.
It was no more than the Swans deserved in what was a hard-fought contest, but one in which they carried the greater goal threat.
3 – The Swans are unbeaten in their three visits to Deepdale since returning to the Championship, winning one and drawing two.
40 – This year marks 40 years since Swansea City sealed promotion to the top-flight for the first time in the club’s history with a 3-1 victory at Deepdale in May 1981.